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CCPS students named Carson Scholars

Three Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) elementary students were recently named 2023 Carson Scholars. The Carson Scholars program recognizes students for high academic achievement, humanitarian qualities and community service.

Honored this year as new Carson Scholars are Garcelle Hinson, fifth grade, Malcolm Elementary School; Sydney Pennycooke, fifth grade, Mary H. Matula Elementary School; and Troy Pettersen, fifth grade, Walter J. Mitchell Elementary School.

As Carson Scholars, these students receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Carson Scholars are eligible for annual renewal of the scholarship as long as they maintain high academic standards and a commitment to their communities.

One student can be nominated each year by their school for recognition as a Carson Scholar. The selection process is competitive and about 500 new scholars nationwide are chosen annually. Nine CCPS students received a scholarship renewal as 2023 Recognized Carson Scholars.

Recognized scholars are students who have received the honor in prior years. They are:

  • Noah Cusack, junior, Maurice J. McDonough High School (fifth recognition).
  • Brady Freundel, junior, Henry E. Lackey High School (seventh recognition).
  • Kiley Grollman, eighth grade, Piccowaxen Middle School (fourth recognition).
  • Jayden Hill, seventh grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School (fourth recognition).
  • Jolie Lombardi, junior, La Plata High School (seventh recognition).
  • Keirstin Perez, senior, North Point High School (second recognition).
  • Aaliyah Underwood, freshman, North Point (second recognition).
  • Nya Whitney, freshman, McDonough (fifth recognition).
  • Benjamin Williamson, senior, North Point (seventh recognition).

Each year, the Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to a select group of high achieving students. These students demonstrate an outstanding academic achievement, dedication to community service and must have a minimum GPA of 3.75.

The Carson Scholars Fund was founded in 1994 by pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson to motivate and reward academic excellence in young people. The fund has awarded more than 7,000 scholarships and has scholars in all states and Washington, D.C.

Visit the Carson Scholars website at for more information.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,598 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).